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How Do Startups Leverage Content Marketing for SEO?

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Remaining competitive as SEO changes is imperative—if not challenging—for startups and established companies alike. However, this all comes with the digital marketing territory. Embracing innovation in content marketing can skyrocket KPIs when considering SEO.

How can we efficiently engage with this opportunity?

We've gathered SEO expertise from twenty-five professionals, ranging from pure specialists to marketing leaders, and asked them, "can you share your best examples of leveraging content marketing, specifically to help startups with SEO?"

From sharing expert knowledge to addressing customer questions in articles, we've uncovered a comprehensive list of cutting-edge SEO strategies. Each reveals a single approach that, combined, can arm your business with the proper technique to maximize ROI via SEO. Dive in below to discover revolutionary tactics for search engine mastery.

Share Expert Knowledge Consistently

I built my startup to attract over 45,000 organic visitors each month. I would advise other startups to really leverage their expertise and subject knowledge, and to share that knowledge in written form on their website. If you write high-quality content that your target audience is already searching for, or asking questions about, and make it accessible and useful—avoid things like fluffy or convoluted language—you stand a good chance of getting found in search.

Don't get distracted by doing masses of keyword research, or investing in expensive SEO industry tools if you can't yet afford it. Just get as much high-quality content about your specific area of expertise out into the world. And do it consistently. In my startup, we generally published one to two pieces of content per week, but we were super disciplined about making sure we were always answering questions our audience already had, and which genuinely served them. It's a great way to build authority and trust with your audience, and if your audience loves what you're doing, chances are, Google will too.

Claire Ransom, Founder, SEO and content strategy agency, Aloha Life Digital

Provide Valuable, Engaging Content

For a budding startup, the world of SEO and content marketing may seem saturated. In this environment, it is crucial to focus on providing value to the browser instead of publishing generic content. Valuable content like charts, graphs, e-books, or visualizations can build a loyal following among internet browsers. Providing valuable resources generates more backlinks and social shares, which are hallmarks of successful search engine optimization. You can rely on these factors to bring organic traffic to your webpage.

For example, let us assume your startup operates in the personal finance or banking sector. Instead of publishing another generic article about "How to Save Money," you can provide valuable content on your website. Building a webpage containing infographics, charts, e-books, and guides relevant to your sector will bring repeated clicks while providing usable content for the browser. This interactive experience attracts users and encourages them to spend more time on the website, improving its SEO optimization score.

Additionally, new startups can leverage interactive content for social media outreach and link-building efforts. You can offer your tools and resources to relevant websites in your niche to build backlinks. This strategy enhances the startup's reputation, boosting your SEO rank.

Yogesh Kumar, Digital Marketing Manager, HiCentrik

Create Immersive Multimedia Experiences

As an SEO specialist, I believe startups can revolutionize their digital presence by harnessing the power of content marketing through interactive multimedia experiences. Introducing immersive content, such as interactive infographics, quizzes, and augmented reality experiences, will captivate the audience and enhance user engagement signals—crucial for SEO rankings.

Consider a scenario where I collaborate with a fitness technology startup. To leverage content marketing for SEO, I could create a customized workout quiz tailored to users' preferences and fitness objectives. This innovative approach increases user interaction, promotes additional backlinks, and social media shares, for a shareable online presence.

Also, the fitness startup can establish itself as a trendsetter in the industry by boosting search engine rankings and sustained organic growth. Embracing immersive content is not just a marketing tactic; it's a digital evolution that propels startups towards SEO excellence.

Dhruv Shah, SEO Manager, Forge Digital Marketing

Feature Industry Expertise in Content

A great way startups can leverage content marketing to improve their SEO is by creating roundup pieces featuring industry experts, including yourself. This could look like an article featuring quotes from a number of individuals, an article breaking down talking points from other experts, whether that's a video or another article itself, and then offering solutions in your unique piece of content, or a personal video from the CEO running through a product demo.

A great example of this is Mark Zuckerberg's recent video of him talking about the Apple Vision Pro. This was a three-minute product comparison video directly from a CEO posted on his Instagram.

While Meta isn't a startup, this concept could easily be applied to startup founders. And the Instagram post earned huge press coverage. That means backlinks. If you have a unique product, create a comparative product video. This is great for brand awareness and may also earn you some nice backlinks in the process. Strong links from content like this can be a true differentiator in SEO. So, in short, content marketing that is personal and unique, like the above, is a great way to market your brand and reap the rewards of SEO in the process.

Ben Poulton, Founder, Intellar SEO Consultancy

Integrate Interactive, Niche-Relevant Tools

To enhance SEO, startups can integrate interactive, niche-relevant tools on their website. These tools provide value to users and keep them engaged, which can reduce bounce rates and increase time spent on the site.

Moreover, these tools can be optimized with relevant keywords to improve visibility in search results and promoted across various platforms, including social media and industry forums, to attract backlinks.

Startups can reach out to niche influencers or bloggers to provide value in exchange for backlinks, by inviting them to try their tools and potentially share them with their audience. By leveraging interactive tools in this way, they can not only boost their SEO performance but also establish their brand as a valuable resource in their industry.

Rakshit Panchal, SEO Manager, Sydney Digital Agency

Adopt a Strategic Content Approach

I have found that taking a strategic approach to content creation is more effective for SEO than the tactic of writing one-off posts to answer a specific search query. You have to really understand the bigger picture of what users want to solve, and empower them to do so through a wider content plan.

For example, when I worked at a popular fishing app startup, we learned that most users wanted to discover local fishing locations. Instead of writing a single article about 'finding fishing spots' to serve that SEO keyword, we empowered users to actually locate spots around them, which served a greater SEO purpose and brought more value to the community.

Our SEO and content approach was to scale our content to create detailed resources about actual fishing spots around the world. This included details like user ratings, legal regulations, types of fish found there, and more. As a result, we helped users actually discover places to fish near them rather than just telling them how to find this information themselves. As a result, this generated organic search for local search terms, increased brand awareness and app downloads, and delivered more engagement with the content itself.

This is a great example of how a strategic and user-focused content plan not only elevates SEO success but also contributes to wider organizational goals. Always think in terms of the bigger picture of what your audience wants to accomplish, then build a thoughtful content strategy to help them achieve it.

Rebekah May, SEO - Content Marketing Expert, MarketingAid.io

Use Your Expertise for Thought Leader Content

Search engines are looking for content written by experts, and nobody is more of an expert in what you do than you! Use this expertise to help you craft compelling content that positions you as an authority in your field.

Take note of the questions your customers and prospects ask regularly, then turn the answers into blog posts. Use case studies, direct quotes, and first-hand experience to set yourself apart from your competitors.

If you can do this consistently, you'll see your site's visibility improve.

Mel Healy, Head of Content, Marketing Labs

Optimize Content for Shark Tank Searches

If you have a startup offering something people are actively searching for online, SEO is a great marketing channel for connecting with your audience. Many of our clients at a past SEO agency were startups straight from Shark Tank. After getting their spotlight on TV, many of their interested customers would immediately search for their brand online. So, it was critical for them to have a website with informational content that answered questions their potential customers had.

To do this effectively, we would learn about what people are searching for in relation to the startup's offerings through keyword research. We would take this information and incorporate it into the content of the category, product, or service pages to help potential customers determine if it was the right product or service for them.

To attract their audience who didn't already know about their brand from Shark Tank, we created blog content for different stages of the buying journey. This way, users could get the information they're actively seeking while also positioning the brand as a helpful resource addressing their pain points and offering their product or service as a solution.

Lauren Galvez, SEO Consultant, LaurenGalvez.com

Focus on Unique Content Creation

To stand out, startups need to create unique content. I'm not just saying that. The web is full of extremely similar articles that have been written without research, only reusing content that is already positioned, so no new content is provided. Google is smart and knows it. That's why it has created something called an information-gain score, which evaluates to what extent our content is different from others in the same field.

Emphasizing uniqueness not only aligns with Google's evolving algorithms but also helps in standing out in a sea of generic content.

Marco Genaro Palma, SEO Consultant, GenaroPalma.com

Construct Comprehensive Pillar Pages

Crafting a comprehensive pillar page, accompanied by supporting articles, has proven to significantly enhance credibility as an industry authority and elevate SEO performance. Our dedicated SEO team specializes in constructing such pillar pages for our clients, resulting in an impressive 300% surge in organic traffic.

Mei Ping Mak, Director of SEO and Web, Weave Asia

Employ the AIDA Model Strategically

When the desired outcome of a content marketing campaign is getting featured in organic search engine results pages (SERPs) in an attempt to attract more customers, there is one framework which marketers must consider first: the AIDA model (1. Awareness; 2. Interest; 3. Desire; 4. Action).

The startup websites tend to have low domain authority (DA), which means that their chances of ranking organically in search engines are rather low, even when their content is the best there is. This is characterized by the competitiveness of organic SERPs, which is particularly true for end-of-the-funnel keywords (4. Action: "Buy content marketing services").

Considering the AIDA model entails looking into the steps customers must take before they arrive at a purchasing decision. For instance, customers that want to "buy content marketing services" have originally become aware of the "content marketing" topic at large. A fraction of customers that have become aware of it will move to the next phase, by expressing interest when searching for something like "content marketing strategy for startups." Even fewer customers will then search for "content marketing services," thus expressing a desire to see actual content marketing providers.

In the context of startups employing content marketing to rank organically on search engines and creating opportunities for conversions, considering these first three phases of the AIDA model can mean the difference between a continuous flow of clients and no clients at all (if there is no advertising budget).

Sergiu George, Founder, Nurdic.com

Generate High-Quality User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is my number-one tactic for generating high-quality, E-A-T, and SEO-friendly content for a very small amount of resources. It can also be used to promote your products. Let me share an example I did.

I needed to promote a new Google Tag Manager (GTM) tool that my agency created. So, I reached out to GTM experts and asked what their favorite GTM tool was and why.

I compiled the contributions into an article that featured 22 tools and expert recommendations, and then I placed our GTM tool at the top.

Because the article included lots of real expert opinions, it had strong E-A-T (one of Google's leading ranking factors). As a result, the article ranked well right off the bat for target keywords such as "GTM tools."

I then used LinkedIn to promote the article—sharing it and tagging all the experts, their businesses, and the tools they recommended. They engaged very well because it's free advertising for them.

This resulted in over a thousand users for our tool, our tool in the number-one spot for a GTM tool listicle, a high-quality article ranking for its target keywords, thousands of social impressions, and new professional relationships with experts in my niche.

UGC is a low-cost, resource-effective content strategy that is easy to implement for startups and can get their foot in the door quickly.

Will Rice, SEO & Marketing Manager, MeasureMinds Group

Develop a Multifaceted SEO Strategy

A proper content marketing strategy isn't complete without the help of SEO.

It's very wrong to say that the target audience of SEO is search engines.

I'm an SEO Specialist, and my marketing strategy starts long before thinking about SEO. I need to see the big picture, the different possibilities depending on the positioning, targeting, and goals.

Who are our ICPs, who are our competitors, what are our customers saying, what are the pain points, and what are our USPs?

Categorize keywords by TOFU/MOFU/BOFU with search volumes.

Not everything should be a blog post. For example, if I find there's a nice big chunk of traffic available for one of the content topics, it might be worth hacking away at it with an entire website subsection, covering them under FAQs or even using programmatic SEO.

Clients will want conversions and like to treat content as a quick investment, and obviously, the stuff you plan to produce will have to help in different functions, not just SEO.

You'd also be using the SEO tool of the house to report ranking changes or stalling and argue using that to invest in off-page SEO, link building, or more advanced stuff like getting the help of an agency.

The idea is that strategy is a LOT of stuff, and you want to give it to them in digestible chunks while having the material to support your reasoning also at hand.

Jugnu Nagar, SEO Specialist, GREAT Guest Posts

Blend AI and Authored Content

Content marketing has always been essential in SEO. It's like your online persona, showing what your product offers and how it can help people. When we talk about startups where resources can be limited, telling the story of your product is key—that's your content marketing plan in a nutshell. So, working on your own content strategy while making the most of your team's skills is vital.

At Nebula, we've been all about finding the sweet spot between AI and authored content. We've spiced things up with interactive elements that make users want to engage more, hence boosting our SEO. Every niche has its special features, and for us, these are elements like compatibility calculators, astrology quizzes, tarot spreads, and birth charts. Users love such interactive content and often share it on social media, which is great for getting your brand out there.

Kate Khomenko, SEO Lead, Nebula

Utilize Data for Programmatic SEO

Leverage your unique data for content marketing and SEO! One startup tech company we worked with had an amazing ecosystem of data already in their platform, which we leveraged for a programmatic SEO strategy. Their target audience was often searching for various combinations of these data points. In summary, we created eight programmatic SEO templates, which ultimately generated hundreds of pages of unique content and scaled their search traffic from 1,000 to over 30,000 visitors per month.

Amanda Thomas, Managing Partner & Director of Client Strategy, Konstruct Digital

Combine AI with Human Expertise

If your startup is eager to accelerate growth through content marketing in SEO, I recommend considering two enhanced approaches.

First, give AI a chance to boost your SEO. The cornerstone of an effective strategy is the intelligent application of AI in content creation. It's imperative to focus on generating high-quality content. AI can significantly speed up production, but it should complement rather than replace human copywriters. By leveraging AI, writers can produce 5-7 high-quality articles in the time it might take to craft just one manually. Speed is of the essence in maintaining a competitive edge. However, ensuring that this content undergoes thorough proofreading and editing is critical to guarantee its excellence. Quality should never be compromised.

Second, don't neglect the YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) factor. It will help your strategy actually work. Demonstrating your authors' expertise is key. Create dedicated profiles for them, highlighting their professional background and educational qualifications, to build trust and authority.

At Promova, our utilization of AI in content creation has been a game-changer, enabling us to quickly attract thousands of new organic users. This approach enhances efficiency and ensures the production of content that resonates with and engages our target audience effectively.

Anastasiia Krasiukova, SEO Lead, Promova

Try Parasite SEO Techniques

One innovative approach startups can employ within content marketing for SEO is "parasite SEO." This technique involves publishing content on high-authority domains other than your own website, such as popular social media platforms, forums, or guest blogs, to leverage their domain authority for better search rankings. The concept is similar to a parasite living on its host, where the content is the parasite, while the high-authority domain is the host.

For example, a startup that sells natural skincare products wants to improve its online visibility. Through this technique, they could publish informative articles or product reviews on popular beauty forums or social media platforms (e.g., LinkedIn Pulse), or authoritative sites (e.g., The New York Times), with backlinks to their website. This allows their content to be seen by a larger audience, attracting potential customers and driving traffic to their site.

This is not something new, but it has gained more popularity in recent years as a cost-effective way for startups to boost their content marketing efforts for SEO without investing heavily in building their domain authority.

Erik Emanuelli, Problogger and Internet Marketer, ErikEmanuelli.com

Craft Compelling Stories for SEO

Use storytelling in their SEO-optimized content. Beyond keyword research and optimization, a powerful content marketing strategy lies in the ability to tell a compelling story. Stories tap into the reader's emotions, which makes the information more memorable, shareable, and engaging. This leads to higher rankings through user signals.

Ariadna was a startup client specializing in eco-friendly packaging solutions. She wanted to raise awareness in a market saturated with cheaper, less sustainable options. Our content marketing strategy included narrating the company's journey, her commitment to sustainability, etc. These stories were optimized for SEO, but tapping into emotions increased the shareability and user engagement. The readers saw themselves as part of the story, as contributors to a greener planet.

In five months, there was a notable increase in the SEO ranking for the multiple keywords she was competing for and a 134% increase in organic search traffic.

Sergey Galanin, Director of SEO, Phonexa

Improve Website Performance

Focus on your startup's website performance to boost its traffic. Ensure it passes Google's Core Web Vitals by using WordPress with NitroPack for faster loading. This strategy helps you stand out against older, slower websites and makes your content more effective. It's a straightforward yet impactful way to improve your SEO and compete efficiently.

Bryan Philips, Head of Marketing, In Motion Marketing

Repurpose Content with AI Editors

Using the ever-growing tools of AI video editors is an easy win. Take content from you or the founder that is captured in older videos and run it through some tools like Munch or Hypernatural to create curated and captioned clips. It's an easy way to use a lot of previous content and bring it new life.

Evan Kubicek, Chief of Social Impact, SOULCHI

Secure Backlinks via Expert Platforms

Consider leveraging expert platforms like Featured.com, Help a Reporter Out (HARO), or Qwoted. These platforms connect journalists and writers with industry experts, allowing startups to share their expertise in response to relevant queries.

By offering valuable insights, startups can secure backlinks from reputable sources, boosting their website's authority and visibility in search results. For example, an e-commerce startup could respond to a journalist's inquiry about future online shopping trends, potentially earning a valuable backlink in a Forbes article and establishing themselves as a thought leader in their niche.

This approach not only secures backlinks but also fosters brand awareness and credibility, ultimately contributing to increased organic traffic and improved SEO performance.

Trendy Tan, Marketing Lead, Kepler Search

Tell Founder Stories Across Platforms

Great stories make great marketing! Whether it's your company's journey, the founders' story, or how your product helps people, telling these stories across different sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and even TikTok can connect you with more people. You can write stories, share cool pictures, or make engaging videos.

You can even try all of them together. Remember, content creation is just storytelling at its core. The key is to tell a story that makes people feel something and connect with the people in your story. For startups that want to build a loyal following, content marketing is important.

By creating content for different stages, from introducing your company to building loyalty, you can make real connections and turn interest into customers.

Scott Gabdullin, CEO and Founder, Authority Factors

Use Product-Led Keyword Strategy

Work backwards from your product to find keyword ideas for your content. You need to understand what your customer would be searching for if they're on the journey to fulfill the need your business serves.

One good example is Zillow, which created a content marketing strategy around addresses in the US. If the SEO team at Zillow had just hunted for high-volume keywords at the start, they would have ditched that approach. Instead, they took a product-led strategy, and once the search volume started rolling in for these keywords, they were top dogs in the search results right from the get-go.

David Begazo, Owner, PRismatic SEO

Leverage Co-Branded Resources

In my opinion, one of the best ways a startup can leverage content marketing for SEO is to look at co-branded resources.

By working together with another brand to create a piece of content or a new tool, startups can often halve the workload and cost of creating big content pieces, while also improving their reach. For example, an industry survey or case study working alongside another company means you have twice the reach and customer base to take the data from.

Co-branding also means you have a whole new audience to potentially link to and read your piece, and another company who is going to be compelled to link to and share it further.

Danny Watkinson, Search Engine Optimization Manager, 20i

Address Customer Questions in Articles

Ask your existing customers about the questions they had before starting to use your product or service. Use this information to create an article for each unique question. This will help drive long-tail traffic and can be used to provide URLs to chatbots via customer service.

Nathan Richardson, Founder, ComplexSearch.com